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Gamespy: Should Diablo 3 have been first person?

Nov 26, 2005
6,274
0
0
33
'll admit it. My first ever hands-on time with any Diablo game occurred just 24 hours ago, when my inexperienced Demon Hunter took his first fumbling steps into the Diablo III beta's dark and ominous dungeons. It took just three hours before I'd hacked and slashed my way to the main storyline's satisfying conclusion, but in that short period of time my eyes were opened to an entirely new perspective on a gaming world. As a lover of first person games, the isometric camera system in Diablo III felt very unfamiliar, and I inevitably wondered why Blizzard didn't make the leap to first person like so many other developers. This led me to wonder - should Diablo III have been a first person game, and what are the pros and cons of this approach? Let's find out.
 
Apr 19, 2005
12,668
1
0
Pylon_Trooper said:
I tell you what, I'm 100% serious I would love to play that. Especially if it was a WEGO system.

Also, I might be alone as well in wishing Hawken was also a realtime tactical game, or another WEGO TBS.
yeah. mirror's edge, with more of a weird physics system, played like darkwind war on wheels. would be fantastic. haha.
 

KrawlMan

Member
May 19, 2007
1,557
0
0
Maybe it's already been said, but wasn't this what Hellgate London was going for? (FP Diablo-esque game)
 

FartOfWar

Banned
Oct 12, 2004
5,901
0
0
Quincy, MA
GunSlingerAUS said:
Hey folks

And yes, I do believe the isometric viewpoint is fresh, given that very few games have used it in recent years compared to third and first person.
Isometric POV is third person. But you haven't heard of Alien Swarm, Tomb Raider and the Guardian of Light, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, MUA 2, Titan Quest, DOTA 2, Age of Empires, Civ, Final Fantasy Tactics? The list goes on.
 
Apr 19, 2005
12,668
1
0
KrawlMan said:
Maybe it's already been said, but wasn't this what Hellgate London was going for? (FP Diablo-esque game)
it was what hellgate was, yeah. diablo as a direct character control first/third person shooter/melee. the perspectives and controls wasn't what was wrong with that game though.
 

Emitan

Member
Jun 26, 2008
39,766
2
0
KrawlMan said:
Maybe it's already been said, but wasn't this what Hellgate London was going for? (FP Diablo-esque game)
Wasn't that a shooter? Borderlands did it too.
 

Neato_Jinkins

Banned
Jul 24, 2004
349
0
0
GunSlingerAUS said:
Hey folks
Finally, and here's the fucking kicker - the article agrees that Diablo III should never have been a first person game. Sadly most readers only got half way through the piece before letting their Diablo rage boil over, and then felt it was their right to ask for my head on a plate.
if only you wretched dorks had suffered through the entirety of my rambling hypothetical, you'd have found that in the tortured conclusion i disagree with my own premise. nerds.

gunslinger out
 

JeffGreen

97.5: The Brodeo
Mar 22, 2007
859
0
0
GunSlingerAUS said:
Hey folks

'Tis I, the trolling Bennett Ring here, to fill you in on my motivations for writing the article in question. Here goes - hopefully you'll have the courtesy to read this post the entire way through, unlike the article itself.

Firstly, I apologise for not having played every triple A game that has ever existed. I'm actually a 35 year old gamer who prefers shooters (total Battlefield whore), action games (Gears, Castlevania, etc) and hardcore simulators (iRacing, DCS). I've always been a PC gamer first and foremost, kicking off with MS Flight Sim when I was 10 years old. My experience in the RPG genre is limited, though I'm a big fan of RPG-lite since playing Fallout 3. But no, I had never played Diablo. Shoot me - I was totally up front about this in the article. Guess what - I'd never played Starcraft until SC2 came out. The shame!

Secondly, I had absolutely no idea this story would provoke such a response. I'm serious. I thought it was an interesting fluff piece to discuss for newcomers to the game, given that most major isometric games are making the jump to first person (Fallout did it well, XCOM is looking good based on my last E3 hands-on, nfi what Syndicate is going to be like). I wanted to write about my time with the Diablo III mod, but couldn't do a detailed "This is what's improved piece" given my inexperience with the series. I figured this would make an interesting angle that looked at why Blizzard didn't do choose first person.

Finally, and here's the fucking kicker - the article agrees that Diablo III should never have been a first person game. Sadly most readers only got half way through the piece before letting their Diablo rage boil over, and then felt it was their right to ask for my head on a plate. I urge you to actually read the entire piece, specifically the last half, which talks about why Diablo III had to be an isometric game. And yes, I do believe the isometric viewpoint is fresh, given that very few games have used it in recent years compared to third and first person. This is why I'm rather amused by the reaction - the ragers didn't even read the full story to realise that I'm agreeing with them. It's astonishing.

Again, I just want to reiterate that I never intended this to blow up - I was expecting a couple of thousand clicks, nothing major, where readers could share their thoughts about whether Diablo III could have worked as a first person game. Guess I was wrong.
What's astonishing is that you still don't get it. Perhaps if you stopped being defensive/condescending, with some lordly above-it-all bemusement, and read and processed what some people are saying to you with even a modicum of humility, you might actually learn something and do your job better.

The problems are these:

1) You pose a question that no one gives a shit about, and then come to the conclusion that we were all at in the first place. The fact that you came to the same conclusion doesn't prove that you're on board with all the "ragers" and that therefore they had no beef -- it proves that you just wasted everyone's time with something that was inherently obvious and therefore not worth writing about in the first place. You think people misunderstood you because they didn't read all the way through. Wrong. The problem is that we DID read all the way through and realized you had nothing--zero--interesting or thoughtful or productive to say about the game.

2) Not only is Diablo one of the single biggest PC gaming franchises , but MANY OTHER of the biggest franchises--and not just RPGs-- ALSO have used isometric perspectives for decades now. You write about it as if it's some wacky, newfangled thing you've never heard about, which, sorry, makes it hard to take you seriously, even if you claim to be "first and foremost" a PC gamer.

3) You have access to a beta of something a great many people are dying to know about. There were so many angles you could have taken to write about---even as a noob who'd never played Diablo before. That, in fact, is a great perspective to have, as I'm sure many younger gamers are coming into the series fresh. But your angle is: "Let me take a totally moot point around a design decision made 15 years ago and then decide that, yep, that was a good decision after all." How in the world do you think that serves anyone, let alone the PC gamers who are your audience?

4) If you really wondered, as a journalist, why Blizzard didn't do a first-person perspective, why didn't you ask THEM? A couple quotes from the design team on that point might have actually been interesting, rather than lazy, masturbatory speculation.

5) Your analysis of why Diablo's mechanics aren't difficult *because* of the perspective makes no sense and is laughable to the many, many people who read your site (you know, actual PC gamers), who know just how complicated the strategies can be. Why the heck do you think there are 10 zillion sites devoted to the topic? Dismissing the game as "too easy" because (of all things) the isometric perspective is a nonsensical leap of logic that would be embarrassing in any article. That it comes from the editor-in-chief of the site is, to use your word...astonishing.

6) Your dismissive tweets, now followed by your second post saying you won't bother replying to any comments because you've said your piece, just shows you actually aren't listening to anyone in the first place, or care. Everyone is wrong but you. That must be a nice place to live, inside your head. Kinda sad for your readers, though.
 

FartOfWar

Banned
Oct 12, 2004
5,901
0
0
Quincy, MA
GunSlingerAUS said:
Yes, that was meant to say "Diablo III beta".

Also, I'm not going to be replying to any feedback on my comment - to be frank, I really don't have the time to spend days debating this, which would be inevitable given the reaction to the initial story. I've laid out my thoughts on why I wrote the piece, and it's up to you whether or not you agree with it. Have at it.
But I guarantee you have the time to read every single response to come in this thread.
 

The Big Rig

Member
Jul 18, 2009
3,751
0
0
Wow, Jeff Green hasn't lost it.

Maybe you guys could do a podcast talking about it, maybe with some other former game journalists. You could do it over Skype. Just a thought.
 
Feb 27, 2008
18,022
0
810
JeffGreen said:
1) You pose a question that no one gives a shit about, and then come to the conclusion that we were all at in the first place. The fact that you came to the same conclusion doesn't prove that you're on board with all the "ragers" and that therefore they had no beef -- it proves that you just wasted everyone's time with something that was inherently obvious and therefore not worth writing about in the first place. You think people misunderstood you because they didn't read all the way through. Wrong. The problem is that we DID read all the way through and realized you had nothing--zero--interesting or thoughtful or productive to say about the game.
This is important. Mr. Gunslinger is a busy man, though, so I've truncated and bolded the most salient point for his convenience. In fact I'll just re-quote it a few more times.

JeffGreen said:
1) You pose a question that no one gives a shit about, and then come to the conclusion that we were all at in the first place. The fact that you came to the same conclusion doesn't prove that you're on board with all the "ragers" and that therefore they had no beef -- it proves that you just wasted everyone's time with something that was inherently obvious and therefore not worth writing about in the first place. You think people misunderstood you because they didn't read all the way through. Wrong. The problem is that we DID read all the way through and realized you had nothing--zero--interesting or thoughtful or productive to say about the game.
JeffGreen said:
1) You pose a question that no one gives a shit about, and then come to the conclusion that we were all at in the first place. The fact that you came to the same conclusion doesn't prove that you're on board with all the "ragers" and that therefore they had no beef -- it proves that you just wasted everyone's time with something that was inherently obvious and therefore not worth writing about in the first place. You think people misunderstood you because they didn't read all the way through. Wrong. The problem is that we DID read all the way through and realized you had nothing--zero--interesting or thoughtful or productive to say about the game.

JeffGreen said:
1) You pose a question that no one gives a shit about, and then come to the conclusion that we were all at in the first place. The fact that you came to the same conclusion doesn't prove that you're on board with all the "ragers" and that therefore they had no beef -- it proves that you just wasted everyone's time with something that was inherently obvious and therefore not worth writing about in the first place. You think people misunderstood you because they didn't read all the way through. Wrong. The problem is that we DID read all the way through and realized you had nothing--zero--interesting or thoughtful or productive to say about the game.
 

DoctorPayne

Banned
Mar 10, 2010
608
0
0
JeffGreen said:
What's astonishing is that you still don't get it. Perhaps if you stopped being defensive/condescending, with some lordly above-it-all bemusement, and read and processed what some people are saying to you with even a modicum of humility, you might actually learn something and do your job better.

The problems are these:

1) You pose a question that no one gives a shit about, and then come to the conclusion that we were all at in the first place. The fact that you came to the same conclusion doesn't prove that you're on board with all the "ragers" and that therefore they had no beef -- it proves that you just wasted everyone's time with something that was inherently obvious and therefore not worth writing about in the first place. You think people misunderstood you because they didn't read all the way through. Wrong. The problem is that we DID read all the way through and realized you had nothing--zero--interesting or thoughtful or productive to say about the game.

2) Not only is Diablo one of the single biggest PC gaming franchises , but MANY OTHER of the biggest franchises--and not just RPGs-- ALSO have used isometric perspectives for decades now. You write about it as if it's some wacky, newfangled thing you've never heard about, which, sorry, makes it hard to take you seriously, even if you claim to be "first and foremost" a PC gamer.

3) You have access to a beta of something a great many people are dying to know about. There were so many angles you could have taken to write about---even as a noob who'd never played Diablo before. That, in fact, is a great perspective to have, as I'm sure many younger gamers are coming into the series fresh. But your angle is: "Let me take a totally moot point around a design decision made 15 years ago and then decide that, yep, that was a good decision after all." How in the world do you think that serves anyone, let alone the PC gamers who are your audience?

4) If you really wondered, as a journalist, why Blizzard didn't do a first-person perspective, why didn't you ask THEM? A couple quotes from the design team on that point might have actually been interesting, rather than lazy, masturbatory speculation.

5) Your analysis of why Diablo's mechanics aren't difficult *because* of the perspective makes no sense and is laughable to the many, many people who read your site (you know, actual PC gamers), who know just how complicated the strategies can be. Why the heck do you think there are 10 zillion sites devoted to the topic? Dismissing the game as "too easy" because (of all things) the isometric perspective is a nonsensical leap of logic that would be embarrassing in any article. That it comes from the editor-in-chief of the site is, to use your word...astonishing.

6) Your dismissive tweets, now followed by your second post saying you won't bother replying to any comments because you've said your piece, just shows you actually aren't listening to anyone in the first place, or care. Everyone is wrong but you. That must be a nice place to live, inside your head. Kinda sad for your readers, though.
 

Fugu

Member
Jan 25, 2009
7,831
0
790
Toronto
GunSlingerAUS said:
Hey folks

'Tis I, the trolling Bennett Ring here, to fill you in on my motivations for writing the article in question. Here goes - hopefully you'll have the courtesy to read this post the entire way through, unlike the article itself.

Firstly, I apologise for not having played every triple A game that has ever existed. I'm actually a 35 year old gamer who prefers shooters (total Battlefield whore), action games (Gears, Castlevania, etc) and hardcore simulators (iRacing, DCS). I've always been a PC gamer first and foremost, kicking off with MS Flight Sim when I was 10 years old. My experience in the RPG genre is limited, though I'm a big fan of RPG-lite since playing Fallout 3. But no, I had never played Diablo. Shoot me - I was totally up front about this in the article. Guess what - I'd never played Starcraft until SC2 came out. The shame!

Secondly, I had absolutely no idea this story would provoke such a response. I'm serious. I thought it was an interesting fluff piece to discuss for newcomers to the game, given that most major isometric games are making the jump to first person (Fallout did it well, XCOM is looking good based on my last E3 hands-on, nfi what Syndicate is going to be like). I wanted to write about my time with the Diablo III mod, but couldn't do a detailed "This is what's improved piece" given my inexperience with the series. I figured this would make an interesting angle that looked at why Blizzard didn't do choose first person.

Finally, and here's the fucking kicker - the article agrees that Diablo III should never have been a first person game. Sadly most readers only got half way through the piece before letting their Diablo rage boil over, and then felt it was their right to ask for my head on a plate. I urge you to actually read the entire piece, specifically the last half, which talks about why Diablo III had to be an isometric game. And yes, I do believe the isometric viewpoint is fresh, given that very few games have used it in recent years compared to third and first person. This is why I'm rather amused by the reaction - the ragers didn't even read the full story to realise that I'm agreeing with them. It's astonishing.

Again, I just want to reiterate that I never intended this to blow up - I was expecting a couple of thousand clicks, nothing major, where readers could share their thoughts about whether Diablo III could have worked as a first person game. Guess I was wrong.
There are at least a few things that have motivated the backlash towards the article, and I'll attempt to summarize.

First of all, it's confusing to many that you could have been a PC gamer for so long without playing any isometric perspective games; you deflect this criticism by saying that it's impossible to play every AAA game, but you're talking about missing a very significant chunk of PC gaming: Crusader? Every Infinity Engine game? Even if we ignore the very strange circumstance that is a professional video game writer that hasn't played the original Diablo, having not played a significant number of isometric games represents ignorance to such a large percentage of PC games that it's beyond what would be considered a reasonable omission.

Given that, the main reason for the backlash against the article is that the question you present is a dumb one. You seem to believe that there is a surmounting body of evidence that Diablo 3 is an isometric lone wolf in a genre that has long since moved on. This is, in fact, completely backwards, as most hack and slash games being developed today are isometric, and most of the games that have been released in the genre for as long as it has existed are isometric. You cite Bethesda's Fallout 3 as an example to the contrary, which seems to lack consideration as Bethesda has been developing first-person games in the Elder Scrolls series for twenty years. There's no reason to move Diablo to a non-isometric environment, which brings me to my next point.

The conclusions you come to about isometric games are false. Whomever told you that "Diablo" is intrinsically not challenging is wrong. For starters, the first Diablo is very challenging, provided you don't cheat. I suggest you try it some day. Second of all, your argument would only be correct if literally every isometric game lacked real challenge, which is not true: There are many isometric hack-and-slashes and they vary considerably in difficulty. Diablo 2 has a reputation as an easier game simply because it is possible to build characters that can steamroll their way through it, and the opinions of players who have been playing it for many years (like myself) are tainted by the fact that they generally know the games inside-out and that they have a large reserve of good gear or capable of building up such a reserve quickly based on their knowledge. I implore you to play Diablo 2 (preferably on hardcore) with as little outside influence as possible and see how well that claim holds up.
Your related claim of isometric games requiring limited mechanical skill is flawed as well. Many (if not most) multiplayer ARPGs have a PvP community, and the extent of this PvP community is not simply wearing the correct pants.

You also describe the isometric viewpoint as limited and bias your article around this. When contrasted to the first person view, for many, the opposite is true: The field of vision is 360 degrees versus the max ~120 degrees that the first person view allows. Obviously the limitation is the distance, but it doesn't change the fact that isometric games do not simply exist in a functionally limited atmosphere compared to their superior first-person brothers; it is simply the case that isometric games limit discovery in a different way.

Ultimately, however, the reason that your article received so much backlash has to do with what I discussed initially: You wrote an article about one of the basic tenants of a genre you knew nothing about. It's irrelevant that you came to the correct conclusion; you posed a question that everyone already knew the answer to and would be obvious to anyone who had played any of these games for a significant portion of time. It certainly doesn't help that you have an inflammatory attitude towards those that disagree with you (see: Twitter).
 

Orayn

Member
Jul 4, 2010
34,290
3
690
Minnesota
JeffGreen said:
What's astonishing is that you still don't get it. Perhaps if you stopped being defensive/condescending, with some lordly above-it-all bemusement, and read and processed what some people are saying to you with even a modicum of humility, you might actually learn something and do your job better.

The problems are these:

1) You pose a question that no one gives a shit about, and then come to the conclusion that we were all at in the first place. The fact that you came to the same conclusion doesn't prove that you're on board with all the "ragers" and that therefore they had no beef -- it proves that you just wasted everyone's time with something that was inherently obvious and therefore not worth writing about in the first place. You think people misunderstood you because they didn't read all the way through. Wrong. The problem is that we DID read all the way through and realized you had nothing--zero--interesting or thoughtful or productive to say about the game.

2) Not only is Diablo one of the single biggest PC gaming franchises , but MANY OTHER of the biggest franchises--and not just RPGs-- ALSO have used isometric perspectives for decades now. You write about it as if it's some wacky, newfangled thing you've never heard about, which, sorry, makes it hard to take you seriously, even if you claim to be "first and foremost" a PC gamer.

3) You have access to a beta of something a great many people are dying to know about. There were so many angles you could have taken to write about---even as a noob who'd never played Diablo before. That, in fact, is a great perspective to have, as I'm sure many younger gamers are coming into the series fresh. But your angle is: "Let me take a totally moot point around a design decision made 15 years ago and then decide that, yep, that was a good decision after all." How in the world do you think that serves anyone, let alone the PC gamers who are your audience?

4) If you really wondered, as a journalist, why Blizzard didn't do a first-person perspective, why didn't you ask THEM? A couple quotes from the design team on that point might have actually been interesting, rather than lazy, masturbatory speculation.

5) Your analysis of why Diablo's mechanics aren't difficult *because* of the perspective makes no sense and is laughable to the many, many people who read your site (you know, actual PC gamers), who know just how complicated the strategies can be. Why the heck do you think there are 10 zillion sites devoted to the topic? Dismissing the game as "too easy" because (of all things) the isometric perspective is a nonsensical leap of logic that would be embarrassing in any article. That it comes from the editor-in-chief of the site is, to use your word...astonishing.

6) Your dismissive tweets, now followed by your second post saying you won't bother replying to any comments because you've said your piece, just shows you actually aren't listening to anyone in the first place, or care. Everyone is wrong but you. That must be a nice place to live, inside your head. Kinda sad for your readers, though.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
Feb 14, 2009
56,116
0
800
Orayn said:
Holy shit has anyone read his Tweets?

@stillgray Also, I disagree with your statement that Fallout 3 was weaker for the changes. The massive sales figures imply I'm not alone.
(talking about Fallout 3 selling well compared to previous entries in the series)

HEY GUYS! LETS COMPARE FALLOUT SALES FROM 1996 WHEN GAMING WASN'T AS MAINSTREAM FOR PC TO FALLOUT 3 SALES FROM 2008 WHEN GAMING WAS MAINSTREAM AND FALLOUT 3 WAS ON TWO OTHER PLATFORMS ALONG WITH PC! OBVIOUSLY THE SALES FROM WHEN GAMING BECAME MAINSTREAM PROVES ME RIGHT IN THAT ALL GAMES SHOULD BE FIRST PERSON! *smug shit eating writing grin*

SMH. But then again Gamespy hasn't been relevant in two decades so I'm not surprised they have a moron as an editor in chief trolling for hits.

(Also sup, I'm sure you're reading this thread even though you have "better things to do.")

Also Fallout 3 was terrible and it's coming from a Fallout 1-2/Tactics fan. I could post the "Beth fucked up Fallout 3.jpg" /v/ image I have again, but I can't be assed. Suffice it to say they dropped what was the main selling point of Fallout and basically turned it into a DERP SHOOTAN GAEM with stats that didn't really fucking matter.
 

Bilix

Member
Jan 1, 2010
680
0
650
Jeff Green doesn't hold back. Nice post sir.

Kraut said:
No wonder Ryan Scott left.
I know he decided that weeks ago, but it's funny to think of that being the reason.
 

Gattsu25

Banned
Jun 6, 2004
33,449
0
0
USA
blog.gattsu25.com
GunSlingerAUS said:
Hey folks
3 minutes later...
GunSlingerAUS said:
Also, I'm not going to be replying to any feedback on my comment - to be frank, I really don't have the time to spend days debating this, which would be inevitable given the reaction to the initial story. I've laid out my thoughts on why I wrote the piece, and it's up to you whether or not you agree with it. Have at it.
Wow, what a jerk move. Nothing against you, personally, but just going off these posts and your twitter comments you appear to have no respect for any of your readers
 

ShadowgeistX

Member
Nov 20, 2007
3,187
0
875
GunSlingerAUS said:
Yes, that was meant to say "Diablo III beta".

Also, I'm not going to be replying to any feedback on my comment - to be frank, I really don't have the time to spend days debating this, which would be inevitable given the reaction to the initial story. I've laid out my thoughts on why I wrote the piece, and it's up to you whether or not you agree with it. Have at it.
Haha, I kinda have a hard time believing this since this guy had enough time to think/write up that piece of trash he calls an article. Guess he's going off to write more garbage...
 

Derrick01

Banned
May 9, 2011
34,663
0
0
I'm glad I came back to this thread so I could see Jeff Green come out of nowhere and ether this awful article. I need a shower after reading that.
 

Jin34

Member
Oct 24, 2009
4,382
0
0
JeffGreen said:
4) If you really wondered, as a journalist, why Blizzard didn't do a first-person perspective, why didn't you ask THEM? A couple quotes from the design team on that point might have actually been interesting, rather than lazy, masturbatory speculation.
Because if he asked them, they would take away his beta access for wasting their time.
 

Andrex

ὁ αἴσχιστος παῖς εἶ
Apr 14, 2007
47,876
0
0
www.neogaf.com
Neato_Jinkins said:
if only you wretched dorks had suffered through the entirety of my rambling hypothetical, you'd have found that in the tortured conclusion i disagree with my own premise. nerds.

gunslinger out


Basically.
 

gabbo

Member
Jun 25, 2011
13,377
0
0
Ontario
Jeff, god dammit man. Just put out a podcast of you watching TV with your wife/daughter or something. Anything. It's not right that I am not able to hear your beat downs.
 
Feb 11, 2007
7,890
0
0
Many aspects of this thread are more embarrassing than the article itself. Not because people disagreed with the article or his arguments, but because of the sheer meltdown some people seemed to have at the question even being brought up.
 

DukeTogo1300

Member
May 13, 2011
1,641
0
0
Omaha, NE
jambo said:
Just saw this from his Twitter


Bennett Ring
@jane_tobes Ha, pretty good eh? Who'd have thought Diablo fans would have more rage than the COD kiddies?


Bennett Ring
@jane_tobes It's easy - find a game that has the nerdiest following, and have an open discussion about radically reinventing it.


http://twitter.com/#!/bennettring

=\
Wow, King ButtHurt in the flesh. You are weak Bennett Ring.